Canon has announced the EOS 60Da DSLR, a modified version of its 60D exclusively designed for astrophotography. The camera uses an infrared filter that triples the transmission of light at the Hydrogen Alpha line wavelength, allowing for photographs of "red hydrogen emission" phenomena like the Horsehead and Rosette nebulae. Normal IR filters are tuned for the human eye, but block out wavelengths that many astral objects emit light along — while the 60Da's filter fixes this, Canon doesn't recommend its use for standard photography as your images will have a reddish color balance.

Elsewhere it looks to be the same 18-megapixel 60D, maintaining the normal ISO range of up to 6400. The company claims the screen is improved for stargazing, though at least on paper the 60Da keeps the same 3-inch size and 1.04 million dot resolution. The camera is also bundled with an AV cable for shooting on an external monitor in Live View mode.

This isn't Canon's first astrophotography camera — it released a similar "a" variant of the 20D a while back in 2005, though it was discontinued soon after. It's great to see the company show some love to such a specialist market, though it comes at a cost: the 60Da will be available this month for $1499.99, a $500 premium on the vanilla 60D, and the availability will be limited to "select authorized dealers."